Public Health News Roundup: October 7
An Institute of Medicine panel released a report yesterday recommending that the cost of essential health care benefits in the Affordable Care Act be in line with cost of insurance in a typical small employer plan, but stopped short of creating a list of specific benefits. Read more on access to healthcare.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is expected to recommend against routine Prostate Specific Antigen Screening for men 50 and older because the test -- aimed at detecting the possibility of prostate cancer -- can result in a high rate of false positives as well as detect small tumors that may be treated unnecessarily. A recommendation against routine screening doesn't keep men from having the test but it could impact the decision of insurers to cover its cost.
Emergency department visits for sports and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions among children and teens, increased by 60 percent during the last decade according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC experts say the increase is likely the result of more adults realizing injured youth players needed to be seen by health care providers. The CDC also released a new, free online course in head injury prevention and treatment for health care professionals, made possible by a grant from the National Football League (NFL) to the CDC Foundation. Read more on policies that could help prevent sports-related brain injuries.
A new research program funded by the National Institutes of Health will explore the role that a changing climate has on human health. The program will research the risk factors that make people more vulnerable to heat exposure; changing weather patterns; changes in environmental exposures, such as air pollution and toxic chemicals; and the negative effects of climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts. Read more on the effects of the environment on health.